Aperture on a 12″ Powerbook (with an unsupported graphics card)

This hack should let you run aperture on a 12″ Powerbook with CPU faster that 1.25Ghz and more than 1GB of RAM. It fools Aperture into thinking that it’s running on a supported video card. It will not help if you don’t have the RAM or CPU required.

The procedure consists of two steps. First we have to actually install Aperture. Next we have to modify the executable to make it ignore the fact that our graphics card is unsupported. I should warn you that this is something that Apple definitely does not support. Should anything go wrong don’t blame me! Your computer may explode. More realistically it will corrupt all your image files and then you’ll be sorry.

Once you have the Aperture DVD in the drive, you have to get the contents of the aperture package. The folder with the packages is hidden in Finder. You can get to it trough command line, or in Finder, in the “Go” menu, the “Go to Folder…” item. Enter “/Volumes/Aperture/Packages/” or at least that’s where it was for me.

First install the “ProAppRuntime” package. That should happen without any coimplaints. Now right-click on the “Aperture” package. Choose “Show Package Contents”. Now click the “Contents” folder and you should see a file called “Archive.pax.gz”. Copy it to some temporary folder on your hard drive. Go to that folder and double click, it should unpack. In this folder a new directory called “Applications” would appear with “Aperture” in that folder. Step 1 is complete.

Step two involves right-clicking on the Aperture application icon, choosing “Show Package Contents”, then going to the “Contents” folder and then “MacOS” folder. Now backup the Aperture executable. Open it in your favourite editor (I used emacs). Search for the string “5200”. You should see “NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra OpenGL Engine” followed by “NVIDIA NV34MAP OpenGL Engine”. Replace every single charcter in the above strings by say number “1”. Including spaces. Save the file, close the editor. And that should be step 2 done.

Now you should be able to run Aperture without getting any complaints. It may crash, delete all your photograps and your 12″ PowerBook might explode.. You’ve been warned.

Please let me know if you had any luck with the above procedure. It has worked for me and Aperture is importing my image library as we speak. Check out this photograph, showing my 12″ PB with Aperture running. It wass taken with a mobile phone so the quality isn’t brilliant.


48 Responses to “Aperture on a 12″ Powerbook (with an unsupported graphics card)”

  1. voodooxradio Says:

    After you change the “aperture” file in the macos folder…how do u make the applications folder become Archive.pax.gz again? I wasn’t able to stuffit that way. I was looking it up and i can compress to .gz with one program but .pax escapes me. Do I use the terminal? thanx

  2. Shaun Says:

    Thanks for the post. It may be asking too much, but do you know what line of the code I would need to change to get Aperture to run on my PowerMac G5 1.6 (it wants a 1.8GHz processor) which has an updated grahics card and 2GB RAM?

    BTW, did you notice the barmy iChat conversation between the engineers hidden in the code? Search for “Peanut Butter”

  3. Gunnar Hafdal Says:

    I’m running Aperture on my 12″ iBook with 1.33ghz G4 and 768mb of ram, the only file I edited was info.plist in the Applicationa/Aperture/content folder and I changed AELMinimumRAMSize from 1000 to 700.

  4. David Says:

    Interesting, I already have 1.25GB or RAM so that was not an issue. But it refused to run on my graphics card. Maybe the 1.5GHz 12″ PowerBooks have a different graphics card to the 1.33GHz 12″ Powerbooks.

  5. David Says:

    If you install the 1.0.1 update, you’ll have to go through this procedure again. And also, if you don’t have a legal copy of Aperture, then your serial numbers from torrent websites won’t work.

  6. Jeff Hargrove Says:

    Thanks for posting this hack! It gave me a lot of hope for being able to run Aperture on my Powerbook, however I am always getting a mach-O error. Do you know what that is? And can I make these changes using textedit?


  7. richard gillespie Says:

    I have an IMac 1.8 GHz g5 with 768 Ram.
    Viedo card is a Geforce FX 5200.
    I followed instrustions, and still get the veido card error!

  8. Jeff Says:

    I am trying to install Aperture on an iMac with a 1.8 ghz G5 chip and 1 gb of ram. When I try to launch the program, I get a message that says: “The installed graphics card does not meet the minimum requirements for Aperture.” So I thought your solution could help me. The only problem is, according to my system profiler, my graphics card is an NVIDIA GeForce 5200. Unless I’m missing something, that’s what’s being asked for by Aperture, but apparently not. Can you suggest any solution for me. If people can run Aperture on a PB G4, you’d think it could certainly run on my iMac 1.8Ghz G5.

  9. richard gillespie Says:

    I have an IMac G5 1.8
    I have a NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200
    and so should you.
    There is no NVIDIA GeForce 5200

  10. richard gillespie Says:

    my sring:
    GeForce FX 5200 Ultra OpenGL Engine

  11. Jeff Says:

    Sorry. You are correct. It’s a GeForce FX 5200. That seems to be the graphics card that is listed in the original string that we are replacing as part of this work-around. But when I try to launch, I get the message that it doesn’t meet the minimum requirements for Aperture. So here is the string I have in the code right now:

  12. Jeff Says:

    The string is: OnImages

  13. Jeff Says:

    It didn’t want to take the string so I’ll try again “

  14. jeff Says:

    Dave .. please remove the two postings above this. I was trying to share the following string and see if anyone had an idea of what I could do.

  15. Marc Says:

    I used this: Aperture Installer (With Serial, No Extras) which I got from this site:
    It was rather complicated, because first you have to download an app that will allow you to download torrents. You can find this app at bittorrent.com – I actually paid for and have a copy of Aperture. If you do too, put the dvd in your drive then go directly to the “go” menu at the top of your screen – click on “go to folder”, thentype in
    /Volumes/Aperture/Packages – click on “go”, then click on proappruntime.pkg – let it install. Then go back to the torrent you downloaded (With Serial, No Extras). It is a standalone Aperture Installer that doesn’t check system requirements. I used this system and not only does PAerture run, but it is suprisingly fast for a 1.33ghz machine with 1.25 gb ram

  16. Marc Says:

    Habituse…Dave, you’re a climber and into Macs – I’m a climber into Macs – check out my site for some great climbing pics from around the world

  17. richard gillespie Says:

    I am not sure what string you are referring to?

  18. Jeff Says:


  19. jeff Says:

    GeForce FX 5200 Ultra OpenGL EngineNVIDIA NV34MAP OpenGL_AR is the string, but for some reason the blog wasn’t displaying it when I tried to write it in the comment box. It comes after the words “showOriginal”

  20. Ian Says:

    Sorry to sound thick. but can someone please post a pic with the lines before they’re changed and after for the Geforce graphics card, I just can’t get this working!


  21. David Says:

    There you go, a screenshot:

    (you need to copy and paste the link into the address bar)

    Btw. the problem might be with the editor you’re using. I think TextEdit won’t work. The screenshots are showing emacs in the Terminal window, but I’m sure there other more user friendly hex editors that’ll do the job.

  22. David Says:

    Yes, this is a good method. Easier than mine. My brother used it to make Aperture run on an eMac. It’s slow but it works. Does it work with the 1.0.1 update?

  23. David Says:

    Nice, thanks.

  24. Ian Says:

    Thanks David, that worked brilliantly after I worked out how to use emacs!



  25. Hayo Says:

    Hello, please help!!! After step two the files are still the the temp folder and Aperture is not installed. How do I copy the Aperture.exec with the new string into the Image of the DVD. Also on the the Apple Formum seems a pretty quick fix:

    Edit the Distribution.dist file (its in the Aperture.mpkg/) directory, use terminal (under utilities) and an editor such as nano. You want to modify the check code so that the NVidia GeForce 5200 is no longer matched, an easy way to do this is reverse the 5 and 2, so it reads 2500 instead of 5200.

    But I cannot find the Distribution.dist, because of pressing SHIFT APPLE & G, in the Aperture Image and look for PAckages there is no such file!!!! PLEASE HELP

  26. Thoas Says:

    kann mir jemand die genderte datei zusenden, ich habe bereits etliche texteditoren getestet irgendwie luft es be mir nicht. danke

  27. Yousef Raffah Says:

    Thanks a lot David, this solved my problem on my iMac. Very helpful details. Keep up the good work 😉

  28. TiDY Says:

    After upgrading to 1.1, and going in and re-hacking the 5200 string, it now says that the minimum resolution is not enough … or something like that …

    my question is, have you had the chance to play with 1.1 yet and see if there is a way around this check now ???

    i was quite miffed that they added an extra check to prevent it from running on a 12″ … i have had no issue running it on my 12″ since I found this wonderful guide, and really want to run 1.1 on it as well …

    hopefully some smart guy can find the string that calls for the resolution check …

  29. David Says:

    I’ve given up on 1.1 for a while now. I don’t seem able to trick it into ignoring the resolution check. I’m still using 1.0.1.

  30. Patrick Says:

    Darn it, I’ve also failed miserably to get around that check. Maybe someone will figure out (using shark maybe?) what call it’s doing to find the resolution, and replace it with a simple true/false.

  31. Charly Says:

    Here’s the new patch for skiping all hardware checks:

    Aperture 1.1
    0x93b8: 40 9E 00 88 -> 48 00 00 88
    0x9454: 40 9E 00 88 -> 48 00 00 88

    Hexedit the executable, Aperture.app/Contents/MacOS/Aperture (keep a backup!). At offsets 0x93b8 and 0x9454 change the bytes as above. Close, run, jump jump around.

    You need to install Aperture 1.0.1 first. Here’s the patch:
    0x7640: 40 9E 00 80 -> 48 00 00 80
    0x76D4: 40 9E 00 80 -> 48 00 00 80


  32. d.siska Says:

    I just checked this and it seems to skip the hardware checks, but not the screen resolution check. Did anyone have any luck with getting rid of the screen resolution check yet?

  33. » Blog Archive » Aperture 1.1 working on a 12″ powerbook! Says:

    […] Finally to give credit where credit’s due: the first two edits which disable the hardware checks are from here. The last bit, disabling the resolution check has been done (by the method of almost blind guessing) by me. […]

  34. d.siska Says:

    Finally got rid of the bit which checks the resolution. Read about it here.

  35. Charly Says:

    Indeed, as I mentioned in forums.dpreview.com (quote) “I don’t deserve the credit. Source? Search for “aperture 1.1 hack” at Google Groups”. I did not dare, however, to ever claim authory. BTW, which method/program did you use to trace aperture.app and find the clue? Thanks for the hack!

  36. d.siska Says:

    The two changes that you posted on this blog change “bne” which is branch not equal to “b” which is an unconditional branch. The screen resolution check comes after the hardware one. So my guess was that it will be another change of “bne” to “b”. BUT it was just a guess and it was the second bne in line, which did the trick. The tool used was command line “otool”. Useful: http://developer.apple.com/documentation/…/Assembler.pdf

  37. eric Says:

    tried it, and even though i am running a 9600 pro with 256 on my dual 1.0 g4, it states that the graphics card is unsupported, which is at least progress from before when it just said hardware was not supported.

  38. bighead Says:

    I got it working on my Dual 1.25 MDD 2003 w/ 2GB of RAM and a 9600 Pro Mac/PC Edition, though the resolution is at a terrible refresh rate. I love you guys!

  39. andy Says:

    new patch for skiping all hardware checks:

    Aperture 1.1.1
    0×9908: 40 9E 00 88 -> 48 00 00 88
    0×99a4: 40 9E 00 88 -> 48 00 00 88

  40. d.siska Says:

    Actually Andy, your patch doesn’t skip the resolution check. A full and proper patch is (and has been for a while) here.

    Also, the discussion on this post has been disabled, because it overlaps with the comments in more recent posts.

  41. marco Says:

    sorry but how can i install apertur from the dvd

  42. Rene Says:

    I could´nt believe, it really works, my G4 12 inch Powerbook runs Aperture 1.1.1 I used the patch indicated on may 6th.
    it was somehow difficult to find out what “0x9908 ecc means…. I somehow found the right place (“40 9E 00 88” ecc. ) and succeeded to change the numbers…

    Very good. ! Thank you!

  43. Ray Says:

    I have a G4 500 dual with 1.25 gigs of memory and a 9800 Pro card that I’d like to run Aperture 1.1 on. I’ve opened up OXED and do a hex search for :


    It comes up, but how do I find:
    40 9E 00 88

    to change it to:

    48 00 00 88

    It’s not on the same line…sorry, I’m confused. Sorry to be so…remedial

  44. nicoletb Says:

    I am having the same problem on the G5, is there a way to get Aperture to run on it?

  45. diane Says:

    I’ve bitten off more than I can chew……

    I’ve been following the posts for installing Aperture on unsupported Macs. My iMac has a processor 1.8 GHZ PowerPC G5, 1.5 GB DDR SDRAM and running 10.4.6.

    I got as far as step 1 installing the ProAppRuntime package. But…..Step 2 is above me. I don’t use editors and think I should remove the ProAppRuntime package. Is removing it from the Library all I have to do? Any help is appreciated 🙂


  46. justinian Says:

    any info for version 1.1.2?

  47. Mr. T Says:

    Has anyone found a fix for Aperture 1.1.2?

  48. Flex Says:

    after altering all the strings in a hex editor do i need to recompress the the application folder into a compressed gz file.

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